Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Lost in Translation

Oh hey there, we're still waiting.  I'm sure I've annoyed our case worker so many times this week and last, asking her to check on the status of our dossier and our LOA with the CCCWA.  According to her, we are still "in process of translating".  The translation part of the LOA wait is the longest, lasting around a month, so it's not surprising that we are still in this part - our dossier was logged in on June 3rd.  Our case worker did tell us that we should be out of translation or getting close.  She said that sometimes the CCCWA will just send out the LOA without updating the case status online. 

A few people have asked me to detail them on how much longer it will be and what the next steps are.  Since this is our first go round, I have to check with other seasoned adoptive moms quite a bit on what happens next.
Right now, as I mentioned, our dossier is being translated.  The next step will be "in review" in which they will make sure we meet all the qualifications to adopt our girl.  After they have reviewed everything, we get our LOA (letter of approval) which is China telling us they approve us to adopt Evie.  We are hoping to get this letter in a week or two from now!!  After we receive our LOA, we will apply for her visa to enter the US and gain citizenship, which is known as the I-800.  This process takes about 2 weeks.  After this step of her visa approval, the NVC (National Visa Center) will issue us a GUZ number (I have no idea what GUZ stands for).  This number will replace our immigration SIM number and shows that our case has been assigned to the Guangzhou consulate.  This takes about a week after I-800 approval.  After that, we take our GUZ number and fill out yet another visa application online, from the view point of our child.  Next we wait for Article 5 drop off/pickup, which is where they drop off all of our paperwork at the US consulate in Guangzhou...they will then look over everything (immigration approvals , LOA, visa applications).  Our agency rep will pick up that packet and the approval paperwork is sent to the CCCWA in Beijing.  All of that takes about 3 weeks.  Then our TA (travel approval) wait begins!  This step takes anywhere from 7-10 days on average.  China will issue us a "Notice of Coming to China for Adoption"!!!  Once we have that, we schedule our CA (consulate appointment) and travel plans.  Whew!  I think all of that is correct, or at least it's close... :)

The travel schedule should look something like this:  We will leave on a Friday, arrive in her province on Saturday, spend Sunday getting all rested up...jet lag and all...(haha!) and finally meet our daughter on Monday!  We will stay in her province until Friday, signing papers, getting her passport, and doing a little shopping!  Friday, we will leave for Guangzhou, where the US consulate is located, and the finalization of the adoption will take place.  Saturday will be her visa medical exam, Monday will be preparing paperwork for her visa, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday will be the visa appointment (this is our consulate appointment), and then wait (hopefully just a day) for her visa to be issued!!!   Once we have that, we can return home!!  All of this is obviously subject to change, as we don't know the exact days of the week these appts will happen.

If this timeline plays out correctly, we are looking at leaving Oct. 16th, which is a Friday.  We could possibly leave earlier, but our adoption agency only travels once a month to her province.

Things we would love prayer for:

1. For the process to be smooth and quick, with no unusually long waits.
2. For our biological kids' hearts - their lives are about to change forever.  Please pray that God will speak to them and prepare their hearts and minds to accept this change gracefully.
3. For Evie's heart - this precious child is about to be removed from everything she knows and is familiar with.  She is about to enter into a world where she knows no one, doesn't speak the language, and can't verbalize what she is feeling.  Please pray for God to protect her little mind, to make this transition as easy on her as possible, and for her to feel accepted, loved, and at peace.  
4. Please pray for God to provide the rest of the money we need to be fully funded.
5. Please pray for my heart and Mike's heart and that the sting of this wait will pull us closer to each other, and to our God, and teach us to rest in His perfect plan.
6. We as parents are entering into a lifetime of caring for a child with a disability.  Pray that we will be advocates for her, that we will look beyond a diagnosis, and to teach others to do the same.
7. Pray that we are connected to the best doctors, groups, and schools that will help Evie reach her full potential.

 We're getting closer, angel girl!!!  Mommy can't wait to snuggle you, kiss you, and rock you to sleep, sweet love!! 

Saturday, June 13, 2015

LID and secret sister

We have a log in date!!  After our dossier was sent to China on May 29th, we didn't know exactly how long the wait would be until we were logged in to China's adoption system.  We were pleasantly surprised when we saw that we were logged in just 5 days later!  Sometimes, it can take up to 2 weeks to be logged in, so we were very happy that our wait was short!  God has opened so many doors for us through this adoption, and sometimes, I just have to step back and look at how far He has brought us.  There have been so many obstacles that we thought we would have a hard time overcoming, but none of them have been an issue.  We have had short wait times on everything so far in the process, and that is nothing short of miraculous!  Of course, we don't know what from here on out looks like, but I know that God's plan is best, so we will rest in Him.
I've joined a few adoption groups on Face.book and the women on there are so encouraging!!  I don't know how people did this without the help and support of so many other people who know exactly what you're going through.  Social media does have it's perks.  One of the groups I'm part of is a secret sister group.  Each person has someone they mail a package to every month.  I've been enjoying buying goodies for my secret sister, and of course, I've loved receiving my package every month.  I have an awesome secret sister, and she's been spoiling me with really cool packages each month.  She sends different things for Evie, and a few yummy things for me!

Evie is already so spoiled!!  Mommy, grandma, mamaw, her cousins, and her aunts have already been buying clothes, toys, bows and headbands for her!  She is so loved already!!  Our whole family is so excited for her to be here!